50 Random Facts List #202

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1Jordan Anderson

When former slave Jordan Anderson was asked to come back and work for his old master, he replied with a deadpan letter asking for 52 years' back pay as proof of good faith. The letter has been described as a rare example of documented "slave humor" of the period.


2. Modern nuclear submarines are so well cloaked that in 2009, two French and British nuclear ballistic missile submarines collided in the Atlantic ocean by pure chance. Moving very slowly, they were't able to detect each other just feet apart.


3. In 1938, at the age of the 19, the eventual founder of Red Lobster, Bill Darden, opened a diner named the Green Frog and defied the laws of the southern state Georgia by refusing to segregate customers based on race.


4. Two metal detectorists named Paul Adams and Andy Sampson thought they'd found a stash of Roman gold coins they estimated to be worth £250,000 discovered that the coins were actually worthless prop for the TV show “The Detectorists.”


5. There is a radio station named WRBH in New Orleans for the blind. Volunteers every day read the local newspaper on the air, along with best-sellers, grocery ads, stories for kids, mysteries, the Wall Street Journal, young adult novels and much more.


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6Dan bus 4

In 1951, a mother and her son ran into each other on Dan Bus #4 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Both were Holocaust survivors from Poland and each one thought the other one was dead.


7. People with sensitive noses are capable of smelling when it's about to rain due to atmospheric chemicals reacting and creating ozone, which has a pungent, sweet smell.


8. Dexter Holland, the lead singer of The Offspring is a doctor fighting to cure HIV. In 2017, finished a Ph.D. program in molecular biology, publishing a 175-page dissertation on the molecular dynamics of HIV and general virus/host interactions. He is also a licensed pilot who has completed a solo flight around the world in 10 days.


9. Fawns (baby deer) are often left alone for hours while their mothers forage for food. Sometimes well-meaning people ‘kidnap’ the fawn thinking it’s abandoned when it’s really just waiting for its mom.


10. In the Rock, Paper, Scissors game, on the first throw, the paper is the best choice. Paper ties with paper and statistically, scissors is the least popular choice overall. Also, men favor rock.


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11Jane Minor

Jane Minor, a slave born in 1792, was freed due to her medical work during an epidemic in 1825. She spent her life buying the freedom of other slaves. She freed at least 16, some costing over $2000, on a salary of around $2-$5 per medical visit.


12. A calendar system for Mars has already been devised for potential future settlement. The calendar contains 24 months of 27 or 28 days each, named after Latin and Sanskrit constellation names.


13. Speed reader Kim Peek could read a book in an hour by scanning the left page with his left eye then the right page with his right eye. He also had an exceptional memory, able to accurately recall the contents of over 12,000 books.


14. Kano Jigoro, the father of Judo, asked to be buried in his white belt to be remembered as a learner and not the black belt master that he was.


15. In Germany there exists the only tree in the world with its own mailing address. The "matchmaking" tree receives about 1,000 letters per year from singles looking for love. Anyone can take letters from the tree and respond. It is estimated the tree is responsible for over 100 marriages.


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16Alexa

Alexa commercials are intentionally muted in the 3,000 Hz to 6,000 Hz range of the audio spectrum, which tips off the system that the “Alexa” phrase being spoken isn’t, in fact, a real command and should be ignored.


17. About 95% of serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract which is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, that are influenced by bacteria. The inner workings of the digestive system don’t just help digest food, but also guide moods and emotions.


18. Juneteenth is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America.


19. Japan has a National Wolf Association fighting to reintroduce wolves to the country to deal with a massive roaming deer population.


20. During World War 2, the Luftwaffe planted buoys in the English Channel for downed pilots to survive in, containing food, alcohol, clothing, and games.


21Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman was inspired to quit playing Wolverine after having a conversation with Jerry Seinfeld about when to retire from a long-running series.


22. Vanity sizing is the practice of assigning smaller sizes to clothing to flatter customers and encourage sales. For example, a Sears dress with a 32 inch (81 cm) bust was labeled a size 14 in the 1930s, a size 8 in the 1960s, and a size 0 in the 2010s.


23. School bus yellow was specifically created for use on school buses at a conference in 1939. Attendees at the seven-day conference included paint experts from DuPont and Pittsburgh Paints. The color was chosen because it attracts attention and is noticed quickly in peripheral vision.


24. Country Time Lemonade has a program in place to help reimburse children that are fined for running lemonade stands.


25. Flossie Wong-Staal was the first researcher to clone HIV. She also completed genetic mapping of the virus which made it possible to develop HIV tests.

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